Yard Burglar Returns to Cambridge for Trial

After a three-month absence, the convicted Yard Burglar returned to Harvard in handcuffs and a bright orange sweatshirt early this morning after an overnight trip from a California jail.

Andre K. Stuckey, Jr. was visibly tired as he was led into the headquarters of the Harvard University Police Department shortly after midnight this morning.

The extradition of Stuckey back to Cambridge marked the first time in departmental memory that HUPD has transported someone across state lines to stand trial. Police officials said asking for his return to Cambridge was an easy decision to make.

"We felt Mr. Stuckey had taken advantage of some leniency he had been given," said HUPD Chief Francis D. "Bud" Riley said. "We convinced the district attorney it was worth bringing him back so he could get his just sanctions."

Stuckey allegedly stole wallets from Matthews Hall even after being released on probation for an earlier Yard break-in in December.

"He committed an additional criminal act the day he was released," HUPD spokersperson Peggy A. McNamara said. "He fled [to California] on a Harvard student's money."

HUPD says Stuckey was voluntarily brought back to Cambridge, after waiving an extradition hearing in Los Angeles.

Con Air

Stuckey left California in the custody of HUPD Detective Paul Weslan and Sergeant Jim Connally, a Massachusetts State Trooper assigned to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office. The two were dispatched to California for the assignment.

The trio took an American Airlines flight back to Logan International Airport where they were met by HUPD's lead detective, Richard Mederos.

The group returned to HUPD's Garden Street headquarters in the police van, accompanied by an escort vehicle.

According to HUPD officers, Stuckey behaved well on the flight, and the trip was without major incident.

"He was cooperative, and now he's back here to face charges," Mederos said.

He was photographed and fingerprinted at HUPD headquarters, before being transported to the Cambridge City Jail.

He will make an appearance in Middlesex District Court later this morning, where he will face warrants for violation of probation and warrants from HUPD for unarmed burglary and trespassing at Matthews Hall--the scene of most of his alleged burglaries. He has also been accused of stealing from dorm rooms in Weld and Thayer Halls.

Back to Court

What consequences Stuckey will face for his cross-country escapades remains unknown.

"We're not sure what the sentence will be," McNamara said. "He did violate almost all the conditions of his probation."

The District Attorney's Office did not return repeated calls for comment yesterday.

In December, a Middlesex County District Court judge sentenced Stuckey to two years in jail--but suspended his sentence based on the 38 days Stuckey had already served. The court had also ordered him to pay a $60 fine and $533.20 in restitution to his victims.

Now it is likely that Stuckey will serve out his original two-year sentence.

According to the terms of his release, Stuckey was to have remained on probation until Nov. 30, 2001. He would have appeared before a judge in March to confirm that he had been abiding by the terms of his probation.

Police say they hope that the punishment Stuckey eventually receives from a Cambridge judge will not be the end of his legal troubles.

Court records obtained by The Crimson show that Stuckey has open cases in four states: Illinois, Washington, New York and California--where he is wanted on multiple burglary warrants. He is suspected of jumping a bail warrant in New York too.

"Down the road, we're hoping that the other states that have warrants for him will step up and prosecute him too," McNamara said.

Police hope Stuckey's return is the beginning of the end of one of the highest visibility cases HUPD has worked in years.

"He obviously has no respect for the criminal laws of Massachusetts," McNamara said. "I won't see closure until I see the gavel drop, and he's taken to a house of correction."